With all the waves of balance changes flying about for multiplayer games especially fighting games and BF3 as of late I've been having a look round various places and it seems like part of the community no longer wants balance in games.
One of the most recent cases was the nerfing of the Famas in BF3 which on the forums had calls like "No its a really skilled weaponz" or "Stupid noobs wanting everything nerfed cause they're crap". Now I had used the Famas and found it a very easy to use weapon and quite honestly I agree with the nerf. The thing is now anytime someone suggests something is overpowered there one of two responses coming.
1) You're just terrible at using it you suck
2) Well the developers made it like that so its fair game.
The second one particularly disturbing as its the same validation used by people exploiting glitches.
So I started to think back and while in the true sense the "Pro" community want balance changes the "wanna be pro" community don't.
So why wouldn't they want a fun balanced game ? You might ask.
The answer is numbers, in modern shooting games people are always measuring skill based on your numbers rather than how you perform, I've even had a few instances where teams deliberately DDossed me offline due to my low 0.7 K/D ratio in Halo as they didn't want me "ruining" their game. In the strictest sense K/D ratio only show how well match making works and to some extend your play style, for true balance everyone would have a 1.0 K/D ratio as it would mean everyone was vs ing equally skilled people etc.
So why is K/D ratio reliance destroying balance ?
Simple people are now constantly on the look out for ways to gain an advantage, all those people glitching under maps, all those people trying to find a certain loadout to help boost their K/D ratio to appear more skilled so in reality a good chunk of the community will be deliberately using and defending such an advantage. Another big change seen in BF3 has been the nerfing of RPG vs infantry splash damage , this caused huge debates about it not being fair to nerf it despite the fact its a weapon than was able to kill with splash damage alone meaning 2 people with RPGs and an ammo crate could control a corridor simply by spamming rockets which would even hit the enemy in cover due to splash damage. People complained about the nerf despite the fact the idea of the RPG and the engineer class as a whole was to take out vehicles, something people weren't doing because they could save their ammo for easy infantry kills.
Looking at other games, Halo being a great example thanks to the inclusion of "power weapons" they are the most powerful weapons in the game and it admits this. You then look at what people go for power weapon wise and chances are the first one everyone rushes for is the Sniper rifle. A weapon in halo capable of easily getting 2 kills per clip and acting as a short range shotgun or a long range rifle.
Now in Halo it is a power weapon but you can't really say its overpowered because its designed to be, its a power weapon after all.
However in a game like say COD.
The sniper rifle could be called OP because its not designed to be a power play weapon its added in as standard. This will have some people claim "It's not Oped because anyone can do it" The same claims that were made about the Left 4 Dead elevator glitch.
People even defended this glitch, not in such numbers as you see in stats based games these days but people back then still defended this glitch.
The idea of a weapon or tactic being overpowered is its overpowered in comparison to others not simply something only one team can use.
So looking back I can find one game that managed to be supremely well balanced very quickly. Its this.
now let me put this in context brink is not some super genre defining shooter, its playable and its balanced and personally I do find it fun I'm not going to hold it up as some super new age thing. The one thing brick did do right was weapons balance and its something it almost shares with Tribes Ascend.
Early on in Brinks run some of the comments in the forums showed the mood of the players.
"All the guns are the damn same"
"All the guns suck"
"No guns work"
"There's no sniper rifle in the game"
You might have played Brink you may not have but there is a sniper rifle and when this was pointed out one commenter has this to say.
"Its not a proper sniper rifle you can't kill people in 1 headshot its not powerful enough"
The reason for these complaints was that no weapon in Brink is super powerful, it all comes down to how you use your weapons, you could for example have a weapon like the one I created which was a machine gun with a sniper scope and a bayonet on the front, a weapon useable at any range but easily outclassed by specialised weapons in each area. The reason people moaned and whined was there was no weapon in Brink they could get easy kills with as even shotgun corner camping was countered with stuff like downed fire and cortex bombs which could let victims of campers take their revenge from near the grave. Brink is now near dead online, even after the game had a netcode patch which fixed the major issues found plaguing its launch.
In Tribes Ascend you'll rarely find one lonely individual running with a sniper rifle (Often that's me) but not like in COD or other games, why ? Because in Tribes Ascend the sniper takes 2 or more headshots to kill, it works only chipping away at people from a distance, which people after easy kills simply hate. You'll find them more now running stealth with sticky grenades but after those were nerfed down there was a huge outcry from people about how it was unfair their weapon where they could fire 5 shots and get 5 kills was being toned down.
All this come down to a desire to impress and a desire not to play games for fun or recreation but for some people to seemingly prove something, its up to you to decide why.
For me atleast I like balance, I'd much rather have the fun of losing a close match knowing I was beaten by the better opponent than win an easy victory.
The question is should developers act to try and stop people ending up in this mentality of play to win . For a start stop offering Skill points or pay to win extras such as Fight Night and its infamous buy exp for your custom fighter stuff, which let people from day one go online with a perfect fully stated out fighter and dominate.
What do you think ?
Do people really want balance in games still ?
LOOK WHO CAME: